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Penguins blow three-goal lead, Columbus evens series

Apr 23, 2014, 10:12 PM EDT

Lee Stempniak, David Savard Lee Stempniak, David Savard

If there was a subtitle for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets series, it would be: No lead is safe.

After a 3-1 lead was blown in each of the first three games, the Blue Jackets rallied back from an early 3-0 deficit in Game 4 to earn a 4-3 victory in overtime.

This was a mixed game for Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. He stopped 42 shots and it’s hard to criticize a netminder too harshly when he sees that much work. At the same time, Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky‘s goal with under 30 seconds remaining in regulation time to tie the game is one he should have had.

A similar case could be made for Nick Foligno‘s game-winning goal.

Fleury has now allowed at least three goals in each of his last eight playoff games and the Penguins have surrendered over three goals per game in the postseason since they won the Stanley Cup in 2009. Whether you want to blame their goaltending or defense more for their shortcomings, the fact remains that the Penguins have not been playing like a team destined for great things.

Making this loss all the more deflating for Pittsburgh is the fact that it started with such promise. Craig Adams scored a shorthanded goal just 6:09 minutes into the first period. Chris Kunitz and James Neal followed it up with goals just 33 seconds apart to put the Penguins up 3-0.

Pittsburgh then got into penalty trouble, which contributed to the Blue Jackets getting back into the game. Boone Jenner scored with the man advantage and Ryan Johansen found the back of the net during a 5-on-3 opportunity.

The series is now even at two wins each with Game 5 scheduled for Saturday.

  1. drewsylvania - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:14 PM


    • hammerhead5573 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      I have no rooting interest in this series, but holy cow gotta give credit where credit is due.

      • hockey412 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        It’s crazy that everything written is blasting the Pens, instead of even mentioning the job Columbus is doing. There’s still a lot of pressure on those guys.

    • billiam55 - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      The Curious Case of Playoff Marc-Andre Fleury.

    • sabatimus - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:12 PM

      And this is actually somehow the 2nd funniest thing to happen today: behind Pineda being ejected for pine tar on his neck.

  2. sabatimus - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    Fleury chokes AGAIN! hahahahahahaha

    • imgoingtowichita - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      Hey, pens fans … Don feel too bad. Mark Andy has let down an entire nation before when he leaves his crease.

      • canucks30 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        You’re too late

  3. canucks30 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:16 PM

  4. buckeye044 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    Unbelievable. This young team is growing up and has a bright future.
    Props to the 5th line too.

  5. WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    Love it!!!!!

  6. sammysah91 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    The title of this story is too long, they should just leave the first 2 words.

    • WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:19 PM

      Best post I’ve seen in a long time….

  7. flyerspsu - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    Fleury in seasoned playoff form

    I think the Penguins have to make some serious changes to their team if they want to be a top contender a again, Fleury being one of them

    • mangoman1966 - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:36 PM

      I see that happening even if they advance. A cup would helpnus but that ain’t gonna happen. That noise you heard was the small window of opportunity slamming. Tam needs more grit.

  8. bilbono - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Something tells me Fleury is getting the “stink-eye” in his locker room. Most entertaining series of the playoffs thus far, but it’s far from over! And congrats on your first at-home playoff win, Jackets!

  9. canucks30 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    • imgoingtowichita - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      Well done. I’ve not forgiven him for that play. You beat me to it. Should have scrolled down :)

  10. ibieiniid - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    that. was. glorious.

    • c9castine - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      lol. cant wait till this series is over ibie, and the flyers are done and the penguins are playing the rangers.

      im surell youll retire for the off season, but maybe well talk about it again next year since that seems to be the theme here….talking about how bad the team was from last year that didnt win the cup despite the fact that oh…they did better than your team.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        there a reason you’re picking fights with me? oh. i forgot Flyers fans can’t comment on Pens articles but Pens can clog up the Flyers articles and turn them into hatefests so there’s no actual hockey talk on them. I forgot the rules of PHT. sorry.

        man, you turned into a real dick real fast.

      • c9castine - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        picking a fight? nothing to fight about.

        just find it funny how flyers fans and fans of a lot of teams these days seem to get more joy out of the pens losing than their own team winning, since not many do any more of it than them.

        gotta see it from my angle. ive been around watching hockey and the pens since i could use my eyes. i taped almost half the games played between 2000-2007. and then the pens got really good and won a cup and pittsburgh has been inundated with these ridiculous arrogant young fans who have no idea who this game and league is all about. its created so much pressure and negativity toward the team on such unreasonable expectations its ridiculous. im reading up and down this page and its borderline disgusting.

        but whatever. like i said, its tied 2-2. nothing worse going on here than any other team is experiencing. flyers are down, chicago has to claw its way back to a tie, LA is about to go down in a heap…

        sport man. competitors on both sides…the only people that think roster=success are the commenters.

        i just dont remember you reveling in the glory of a comeback in games 1 and 3. i also remember you getting pretty touchy about the flyers/carcillo hate the other day…

      • ibieiniid - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        i don’t care about any of that, guy. it’s no secret I root against the Penguins, even if I’d prefer them to win this series. but it’s rare that I comment on your stories with any trolling or anything. but if you go to almost any Flyers article on here, there’s 100 Penguins fans hating… so nobody ever actually wants to talk hockey so I’m allowed to get defensive from time to time. you go to a Pens article, you guys have free reign, rarely is there a Flyer fan (that isn’t elmer) interrupting your legit hockey conversations. I didn’t think me saying 3 words on yours for the first time in weeks was out of line but you went full dick mode anyway. cool.

      • c9castine - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        i didnt say anything about you trolling or anything. just dont understand the motivation of most of these people. i suppose you do have some…you live in philly. everybody else, come on.

        i openly admit most of my own fan base annoys me not sure what else you want from me there. i cant even go to work without getting a headache because im the resident “hockey expert” and everybody wants to ask “dude whats up with the pens” and tell me what they think since they just figured out was icing was in 2008.

        dont know why but i figure at some point somebody else will see the stupid hypocrisy of these video posts too…big deal some other team that has nothing to do with this series scored a game winning OT goal a couple years ago…want me to post a video of sid raising the cup? dont think there was video technology the last time the flyers did it. or many many teams for that matter.

        anyway, too bad if you think im being a dick. glory? rangers 2, flyers 1.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        “i didnt say anything about you trolling or anything.”

        you lashed out at me for my 3 word post. don’t worry though man, I won’t be talking Pens with you any more. probably won’t be talking Flyers with you either.

        also, I don’t live in Philly. I’m from South Jersey. I live in Virginia Beach. no excuse anymore? have to live IN the city to be a fan? w/e man, none of your argument makes any sense to me. sounds to me like you just wanted a fight. peace.

  11. rpiotr01 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Oh boy that game winner was a softy. Geez.

  12. iowa02 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    This series has been interesting. The upside is Columbus is getting proper notice for this and for that team it is well deserved.

  13. canucks30 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:22 PM

  14. canucks30 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:22 PM

  15. Jeff - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Awesome! Graham Rahal will be ecstatic.

  16. pensman29 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    For the love of god Crosby. Be a captain and score a goal

  17. ironyisadeadscene - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    I smell conn smythe

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:30 PM

      Well, he’s been dead since 1980 so he can’t smell very good.

      • canucks30 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        Lol WTF

      • youvebeenphaneufed - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:43 AM

        This and the “Penguins Blow” comment above have both made me laugh out loud. Great stuff today.

  18. vbcaps - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Good for the fans of C-Bus

  19. killerpgh - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    The ups and downs of playoff hockey….. Win or lose it’s still the most exciting time of the year.

  20. bmoreredfury311 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    HA! So much for that

    “toiletclown – Apr 23, 2014 at 12:02 PM
    Pens win 4-2, Sid goes off tonight. Stamp it”

    “whammy71 – Apr 23, 2014 at 12:16 PM
    Pens win 5-1…and you can take that one to the bank. The BJs are getting ready to roll over! Also, I don’t give 2 craps who scores. I cheer for the logo….not the name on the back. Tanner Glass could have a hat trick….while Adams and Maatta each put one in. With Geno, Sid, Neal and Kuny going pointless and all taking bad penalties. Its all about the W this time of year!”

    HA! So much for that^^^
    Great win by CBJ.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      STAMP IT!

      • dmfc1112 - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:03 PM

        You can’t triple stamp a double stamp!

      • laxman1944 - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        FLUSH it too

  21. 4buckiz - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    How about giving some props to columbus tonight? CBJ, CBJ CBJ!

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      Indeed, they had the game lost until benefiting from a Fleury of activity.

  22. canucks30 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:24 PM

  23. shutton83 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    It’s hard to imagine Fleury in net for game 4 following that game tying goal. I mean that’s was just plain bad, he had D-men back and he just couldn’t handle the puck, unacceptable in the playoffs.

  24. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    Wow I honestly can’t believe it?! Oh wait I can! Seriously he should’ve stayed in the net and then to let in a softie is just wow!! Fleury had played well in the series until the last minute of this game. Like I said in October, Fleury had one more strike left with me. Still two games left anything can happen. As for Sid & Geno where are they at? Invisible. Aside from Fleury far too often does this team jump out to a big lead and then put in cruise control and let teams hang around. Boston doesn’t do that. As much as I want this team to win and succeed in the playoffs, I still wouldn’t mind if this team gets blown up.

    • thesportsjudge - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      Props for an honest post.

    • bsfan77 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM

      Good post. I think a good wake up call for Crosby would be to give the C to some one else. A leader he is not

    • pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      Thanks and even we had won I was still going to tear into this team. I mean for as much as I hate Boston, I can’t help but admire with how they play. If the Pens were like Boston, then probably would been back in the Cup Final possibly. Also if Chicago can retool a team quickly and win another Cup 3 years latter then why can’t the Pens? Bylsmas 250+ Regular season wins are cute and look nice but when you’ve only won 3 playoff series since 2009 there’s an issue. The last 4, now possibly 5, post seasons have been a major waste of talent and time for Sid & Geno. If they flameout again then only Sid is safe. After Sid it should all be open season. Bylsmas is just like Bill Cowher. A lot of reason success but way too many post season failures, tho screw O’Donnell!

  25. nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Forecast for Pittsburgh area: generally fair skies but with a 90% chance of Fleury’s, which can strike without warning and cause serious damage.

  26. hardkor07mn - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Sammy- that is classic!!!

  27. dubblelznhell - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Love it when favourites lose….other than my favourite team: the Habs.


  28. canucks30 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    “Fleury has now allowed at least three goals in each of his last eight playoff games and the Penguins have surrendered over three goals per game in the postseason since they won the Stanley Cup in 2009.”



  29. 950003cups - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Yeeeee-Freaking-Hawwwww!!!! I love a good scrappy underdog. I don’t think they’ll win another game this series, but they made some serious noise

  30. chanceoffleury - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    At this point I’m going to be mortified if the Pens go into the third period with any sort of lead from here on out. Just dig yourself a giant hole and then start from there. Seems to be the only way for either team to win a game in this series.

    Puck control is gonna be the Pen’s cause of death if they don’t pull it together over the next 7 days. I’ve defended them up to this point, but if Malkin and Crosby don’t pull huge games out of their butts over the next 2/3 games there’s going to be hell to pay for the both of them until at least next April. We can throw Letang in there, too, while we’re at it. If the secondary scoring is winning games then so be it, but overtime and insurance goals when you only have a 1 goal lead and the other team is surging is what you pay those guys the big bucks for. Crosby isn’t getting 100 million dollars to be on the ice for both the game tying and overtime winner, that’s for dang sure…..

    • canucks30 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      When your goalie is giving up 3 goals a game, asking Crosby and Malkin to put up 4+ in the playoffs is a tall ask.

      • chanceoffleury - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:01 PM

        I’m not asking them to put up 4, I’m asking for 1 goal somewhere between the two of them. When your opponent starts to roll, who else should the team lean on? Like I said, I’m all for the secondary scoring. But when the game starts to really tilt the other way, I’m a strong believer in looking to your superstars to be the difference makers. It’s easy to point the finger at Fleury, but the bigger picture of the whole game shows the whole team displaying a very lackadaisical attitude after the first 15 minutes.

    • mangoman1966 - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:43 PM

      They played this way down the stretch. Had trouble protecting leads.

  31. dubblelznhell - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Crosby is decent. But he’s no Gretzky. There will never be another Great One. Crosby doesn’t make his line better. He hinders it. In the playoffs, he is a career +15. Gretzky had a +28 in ONE playoff. Charlie Huddy has the career playoff +/- at +94….

    • canucks30 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      In terms of carrying a team, I’d rather have Mario Lemieux and his 76 playoff goals in 107 games (.71 g/pg). Not to mention 2 Conn Smythes. I don’t recall him ever having a bad playoff year and he accomplished more with less.

    • shwatson - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:11 PM

      Different eras and different styles of play. Gretzky had the greatest offensive defenseman in the game and 4 or 5 other hall of famers on that team. He also didn’t take the abuse that Crosby does every game. There will never be another Gretzky and no one should ever be compared to Gretzky. With that said Crosby has had 2 bad series in a row now along with Malkin and Fleury with his continuing playoffs woes should find a new physiologist.

      • bullwinkle88 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:44 AM

        physiologist? Do people have their own personal physiologist? I don’t…well actually I do because I am one!

      • shwatson - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:09 AM

        Psychologist. My bad. Gesture typing is fast but not real accurate.

  32. stakex - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    The Penguins had a 3-1 series lead in the bag, and Fleury single handedly choked up this game on a silver platter. He’s the most over rated goalie in the NHL, and when the lights are on him it shows…. and shows big time.

  33. dubblelznhell - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Crosby career plus/minus: +15

    One playoff year for Gretzky: +28

    Charlie Huddy career: +94

  34. maalea - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Only in Pittsburgh will you find a flower that blooms in the fall and dies in the spring

    • drewsylvania - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:14 PM


    • sabatimus - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:14 PM

      Greatest comment in the history of PHT.

    • laxman1944 - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      Not to rub salt


      That is pretty dam good

  35. dubblelznhell - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    Lol. Gretzky played in front of Grant Fuhr and Kelly Hrudey. Fuhr has the highest GPA of any hall of fame goaltender and Hrudey was, well….Hrudey.

  36. penguins87and71 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    First of all I give tons of credit to the Columbus Bluejackets, they played a great game. I don’t understand the Fleury bashing, yes he let in two bad goals at then end but he was great throughout the whole game, he made 42 saves! The whole team chocked not just Fleury. The defense was terrible, how do you blow a 3 goal lead? If someone deserves criticism it’s the “best player in the NHL” Sidney Crosby. He hasn’t scored in what 8 playoff games, and Malkin 7 playoff games.

    • gallyhatch - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:00 PM

      Aren’t you the same guy who gave up on the Penguins when they were down by two goals two nights ago?

      I’m pretty sure you were ‘done with this team’?

    • shwatson - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:26 PM

      penguins87and71 – Apr 21, 2014 at 7:42 PM
      Whatever, I’m so done with this stupid team. You have arguably the best top two lines in the NHL, but what good does it do when you don’t work hard. Same old crap with this team.

      For someone who gave up on this team a few days ago it sure is taking you a long time to leave.

      • WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:58 AM

        Keep that one on copy/paste!!!

  37. whammy71 - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    Let’s Go Pens!

    Tied series….Pens have home ice. It’s all good. A little adversity is good for a team that had such a good reg season.

    • bmoreredfury311 - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:47 AM

      Will you ever learn?

  38. johnnyd76 - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    What does not kill you makes you stroger – GO PENS

    • johnnyd76 - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:29 PM


  39. flyersfan85 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    As most of the good stuff has been said I want to point out all of the non-tradional hockey markets that are banging it out in the playoffs. Anaheim, Columbus, San Jose, Dallas, Tampa, LA… just keeps getting better. CBJ has come a long way..and Nash leaving may have been the key..who woulda thought.

    • bullwinkle88 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:46 AM

      You do know that Tampa is toast, don’t you? And LA is soon to be.

  40. penszone757 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Its time for people in Pittsburgh to wake up and realize that this team just doesn’t have it. I have been a Penguins fan my whole life and they are just an average hockey team. Sid and Kunitz have looked disinterested this whole series and while Malkin had an average hockey game tonight, he is not generating offense like he usually does. This team refuses to chip the puck behind the Jackets and play in their zone but would rather drop passes at the blue line and in the neutral zone. The Pens have no desire to play big boy hockey and they aren’t all of a sudden going to grow a pair and start playing that way. The Pens had a strong start to the game but after that got extremely out played and took stupid penalties. I will be happy IF they win this series but I have very little faith that they can beat Philly, New York, Boston, Detroit, or Montreal.

  41. kastout11 - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    I cannot think of many things that make me happier then watching the Penguins lose, let anlone blowing a three goal lead. You cannot sit on leads in the Stanley Cup playoffs, as they should have learned in the first 3 games. The Penguins proved once again that if you hit them, you take them out of their game, and they become undisciplined. It is what cost them the Philly series a few years ago, then although they were just destroyed by Boston last year, it cost them that series, and now lack of discipline might cost them this series. I am torn though, being a Flyers fan, I would feel a lot more confident facing the Penguins in round 2, instead of the Blue Jackets. I watched the Blue Jackets dominate the Flyers a couple of times this year and doubt Philly would be able to beat them. I really hate the Pens though, and I thoroughly enjoyed them losing last night.

    • 7mantel - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      You have to get past the NYR’s first !

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:59 AM

        There’s almost no chance the Flyers could beat the Rangers and Blue Jackets in consecutive series’. Both those teams gave the Flyers fits this season. It’s hard not to root against Pittsburgh and for a great underdog but if Philly has any chance at the ECFs they need the Pens to advance (and turn it around against the Rags obviously).

      • maalea - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        The way Bob is giving up goals,I would like the Flyers chances, if they can advance.

  42. kastout11 - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    Crosby and Malkin have been invisible, and in Philly we are complaining about Giroux. 3 of the top 10 players in the world, not getting it done in the playoffs, so far.

    • toiletclown - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      It’s ridiculous!!

      • laxman1944 - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:03 AM



  43. whammy71 - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Pens are just following Mario’s plan…..maximize home playoff dates for profit.

    Everything is fine – no need to panic.

  44. pt23007 - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Thank you Columbus!!! Love it!!

  45. joey4id - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Where is the boy wonder we call “Sid the Kid”? Zero goals, -3. Is he injured? He’s got to bring his game up, otherwise he’ll be a playoff bust again. The big guns have to step up when the game is on the line (and so does the goalie). That’s called an ROI for the owners.

  46. bkg63 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    The Penguins should check their equipment, they’re playing like they’re wearing girdles instead of jocks…

  47. blue21c - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    They’re crying in their Iron City in Pittsburgh!!!!!

    • hockey412 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      shouldn’t you be standing in the middle of 270 or something?

      Just kidding – yes…at least once a game, we are.

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